Mobile Payment Processing

What are mobile payments? What are mobile payment apps? We answer these questions and more.


What are Mobile Payments?

Introduction to Mobile Payments

Mobile payments are an increasingly attractive way to pay because they are secure, fast and convenient. Mobile payment use is growing. In fact, according to a recent study, the total mobile transaction is expected to increase by almost 32 percent globally, to USD 1.35 trillion in 2017. And as more consumers become comfortable with the technology, security features are taking center stage.

In 2017, mobile payment volume will reach $75 billion and should increase to $503 billion by 2020. Considering the growth of Apple Pay and other NFC payments isn’t slowing down, adapting to mobile payment technology is extremely valuable for your business.

What are mobile payments?

Mobile payments (which encompass mobile wallets and mobile money transfers) are regulated transactions that take place through the customer’s mobile device. That is, instead of the customer paying for items or services with cash, checks or physical credit cards, mobile payment technology allows them to do so digitally.

One might use mobile payments as an alternative to credit cards because it’s more convenient and secure. Traditional credit cards store the customer’s information on the merchant’s point-of-sale (POS) terminals, while mobile payments do not. When utilizing a mobile payments app, the customer’s mobile device serves as a security token and creates a random code for the transaction, which makes the transaction more secure.

As a business owner, you would use a mobile payment app on your mobile device or tablet to accept payments for your goods or services. Mobile payments allow you and your employees to accept payments anywhere, anytime – it’s that simple. You want to make paying for your products and services as easy as possible as a business owner, one of the ways to do this is with mobile payments.

How do mobile payments work?

To pay with a mobile device at a store’s checkout counter, the customer should hold the mobile device close to the NFC-enabled payments terminal. The reader should not be farther than 10 centimeters away from the source (mobile phone) to set the transaction in motion. Since there’s no physical contact between the mobile device and the payments reader, mobile payments are often referred to as contactless payments.

What’s happening in a mobile payment transaction is that the mobile device and the NFC-enabled point-of-sale are essentially talking to each other. Using specific radio frequency, they pass encrypted information back and forth to process the payment. This all takes just seconds. Speed, in fact, is one of the best parts of NFC payments. They take a fraction of the time of magstripe and chip card transactions — and are light-years faster than cash.

There’s also something called tokenization at play in a mobile payment transaction. Tokenization is part of why mobile payments are so secure, as the technology safeguards your bank details in mobile payments apps.

Ready to go mobile?

Make the move to mobile payments and experience the advantage.

What is the difference between NFC and EMV mobile Payments?

What are NFC mobile payments?

NFC stands for near field communication payments and is also referred to as “contactless” payments. These are payments that occur in person between a mobile device and a payments processor that can accept them. To make NFC mobile payments you need to have a mobile wallet app on your device. And to accept NFC mobile payments at your business, you need a NFC enabled mobile payments reader.

NFC mobile payments are widely used by the younger demographic, where the majority of the population tends to use EMV mobile payments, as they are the most secure. However, as a business owner, if the majority of your customer base is made up of Millennials, for example, getting on board with NFC mobile payments can be extremely important. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials (those born between 1982 and 2000) already outnumber the next-largest generation, the Baby Boomers, and they expect faster customer service than previous generations. Not only do they expect to find what they want, when they want it, but they also expect retailers and brands to process payments and returns as quickly as possible — NFC mobile payments are quick and convenient.

What are EMV mobile payments?

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa and is a global standard for credit cards that use computer chips to authenticate (and secure) chip-card transactions.

EMV, or chip cards, are the new, more secure credit cards that the U.S. continues to transition to. EMV chips encrypt bank information making it far more secure than the old magstripe cards. This is important given the U.S. has a pretty serious issue with credit card fraud.

So how exactly will this affect your business? For starters, you’ll need a new processing device to read the information in the chip cards. And as of October 2015, businesses that don’t have an EMV processing device could be on the hook for fraudulent chip card transactions. (This is something called the “liability shift”). For merchants and financial institutions, the switch to EMV means adding new in-store technology and internal processing systems, and complying with new liability rules.

NFC or EMV — either way, mobile payments are an increasingly attractive way to accept payments because they are secure, quick and convenient. Mobile payment solutions (such as TransNational Payments mobile payments app) enable merchants to quickly and securely accept payments from any smartphone or tablet. Accept credit card and cash payments, keep track of inventory and sales from anywhere — take your business with you.

Ready to go mobile?

Make the move to mobile payments and experience the advantage.

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Mobile Payments

1. What are mobile payments?

Mobile payments are regulated transactions that take place digitally through a mobile device. Specifically for businesses, mobile payments are when you are using an app on your mobile device (mobile phone or tablet) to accept payment for specific goods or services from your customer.

2. What is a mobile wallet?

A mobile wallet is an application that securely stores your credit card details so that you can pay for things digitally. How do you use a mobile wallet? A consumer can download a mobile wallet application on their phone and add credit or debit card information that will be stored securely. Most mobile wallets require thumbprint authorization (or other security measures) in order to access the mobile wallet to pay.

3. How do mobile payments work?

A turnkey mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) solution, like TransNational Payments’ Mobile Payments Solution, is an app that offers a great EMV-ready mPOS solution for merchants who want to accept payments on-the-go. The interface is typically iOS & Android compatible and makes it easy for merchants to take mobile payments. Mobile payment apps are used by a wide range of merchants, including: beauty and barber shops, doctors and dental offices, in-home services businesses, nail salons, parking lots and valets, restaurants, retail shops and dozens of other types of businesses looking to take payments on-the-go.

4. What are the benefits of mobile payments?

Mobile payments are secure, fast and convenient. Most importantly, they allow you to take your business and payments anywhere. Also, mobile EMV chip card readers are often less expensive than a traditional EMV credit card processing terminal and provide more features.

5. What’s the future of mobile payments?

Because of their enhanced security features and convenience, mobile payment adoption will continue to increase. Mobile payments are an increasingly attractive way to pay because they’re secure, fast, and convenient. In 2017, mobile payment volume will reach $75 billion and should increase to $503 billion by 2020.

Ready to go mobile?

Make the move to mobile payments and experience the advantage.

Mobile Payments: Top 6 Reasons to Go Mobile

On the peer-to-peer side of things, utilizing mobile money transfer apps allows you to forgo the hassle of cash and checks, and get paid quicker. And for in-store purchases, mobile payments are the best solution for a number of reasons.

With devices and capabilities growing over the past few years, mobile has become the new game-changer. Here’s why you should embrace the change to the benefit of your operations, and your revenue.

1. They’re Fast

Mobile payments are by far the fastest way to pay — usually taking about a second. In the U.S. the transition to EMV as the credit card standard continues and we are seeing mobile payments adoption increase because it is a far better experience and more cost effective. And for businesses that have checkout queues (QSRs, retailers), mobile payments are much more attractive as they can move the line faster (which means more sales in a shorter amount of time). We’ve all heard of Nordstrom and if you’ve been there lately, you’ve probably noticed sales associates walking around with mobile devices. Nordstrom has seen significant success with the decrease in line sizes alone, not to mention the better customer experience they’ve managed to create with the additional information that is available to employees with the mobile devices.

2. They’re Convenient

Mobile payments let you and your employees accept payments anywhere, anytime — it’s that simple. Accept credit card (and cash) payments and keep track of inventory and sales anywhere your business takes you. As merchants you want to make paying for your products and services as easy as possible, and one of the ways to do this is with mobile payments. Mobile payments allow you and your employees to accept payments away from a normal cash register, such as on the retail floor or from a food truck on the side of the road. Another plus, allowing customers to pay for products and services with their smartphones instead of with cash or credit cards, makes it easier for them, all the while, you can increase your revenue, improve customer satisfaction and learn more about your customers’ spending habits.

3. They’re Secure

Mobile payments have multiple layers of dynamic encryption, making them an extremely secure way to pay. They’re far more secure than magstripe payments and just as secure as EMV chip card payments. Even better, if you choose the right mobile payments partner, they should be able to support mobile payments with EMV, like TransNational Payments does. Find out more about What Consumers Want From Mobile Payments: A Primer for Merchants.

4. Your Employees Want It

The fact that mobile payments are fast, convenient and secure, not only appeals to consumers, it also appeals to your employees and we all know how important it is to keep your employees happy. Being able to accept payments anywhere gives employees the flexibility they need to keep customers happy, in turn, helping them succeed. Long lines are a turnoff for many shoppers, for example, and may even cause customers to leave without their merchandise. To prevent this, merchants can give staff mobile credit card processing devices so they can break up lines. Rather than having only one checkout station, staff can operate throughout the store so customers can purchase items as soon as they’re ready to go. This also provides a one-to-one transaction that provides greater opportunity for customer engagement and even upsells. When staff members are given tablets and other mobile payment devices, they can also pull up information for customers and educate them on additional products that might interest them.

5. Don’t Get Left Behind By Your Competitors

Customers expect mobile payment options, which most likely means that your competitors have already fulfilled their wishes. Even if not explicitly true, this assumption should be the method of businesses wishing to stay ahead of the market. Moving to mobile alone has its own benefits, but doing so before your competitors helps cement the perception that your company cares about your customer needs, and has its finger on the pulse of web and technological development.

6. Mobile Payment Apps Are the Future

Consumers’ thoughts on mobile payments have revolutionized the way businesses are thinking about payment processing. On one front, we’re moving toward more secure, authenticated ways to process payments. And on another, we’re moving toward faster, more convenient ways to pay. Brands like Starbucks and CVS have created apps that allow you to save payment information and favorite products, so you can refill a prescription or order your favorite coffee drink with the tap of a button. Not to mention, on the merchant end, mobile app devices are considerably less expensive than the usual payment terminal.

Ready to go mobile?

Make the move to mobile payments and experience the advantage.

Mobile Payments: The Features You Need

We have complied a list of the important features you should consider as table stakes when exploring mobile payment apps for your retail, HVAC, plumbing, car dealership, restaurant, medical office or B2B business.

Mobile Payments History

The app should have a history screen that shows transaction status, transaction number, date and time, and the ability to send a receipt or issue a full refund.


Item lists individual sellable items with price, quantity on hand and taxability within your mobile payments app. This feature turns your mobile payments app into a “light” point-of-sale system.

Send Receipt

The ability to send a receipt when using the mobile payments app is critical for your small business. We recommend having the ability to email or text a receipt.


Being able to configure your signature requirements within the mobile payment app is important. For EMV transactions the requirements for a signature CVM (customer verification method) are driven by the transaction itself.

Sales Tax

The ability to control sales tax, even on a per item basis, is important.


If you collect tips from your customers, having this option within your mobile payments app will be important. We recommend a mobile payment app that allows you to preset default tip amounts or enter a custom dollar amount.

Offline Mode (Store and Forward)

Offline mode enables capturing swiped or keyed payments without an internet connection or cell reception.

Ready to go Mobile?


TransNational Payments
9550 W. Higgins Road • 8th Floor • Rosemont, IL 60018
Tel: 888.998.6224 

TransNational Payments is a registered ISO of BMO Harris Bank NA and Wells Fargo Bank N.A.,
Walnut Creek, CA